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Friday’s religion wrap

The Journey team selects stories that got us talking this week.  

Hong Kong protests and the faith factor

Sydney Morning Herald writes about the current protests in Hong Kong over a controversial extradition bill and the faith factor. Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam has since apologised for proposing the controversial bill which would see the transfer of fugitives to China and put anyone passing through or living in Hong Kong at risk of being sent to China to face the Chinese legal system. Lam, who recently met with religious leaders, is a Catholic and therefore is not a member of the Communist Party which would require her to renounce her faith.

Christian leaders have been praying with the protesters and trying to ensure none of the protests turn violent. Hong Kong Catholic Cardinal John Tong and Hong Kong Christian Church Reverend Eric So issued a statement saying their churches accepted Lam’s apology but called for her to explicitly and publicly state that the extradition bill has been withdrawn. The statement also called for an independent investigation into the clashes during the protest between police and protesters.

Papal don’t preach, before Madonna can speak to you

Daily Mail Australia reports on Madonna’s pro-abortion theology and what she’d like to say to the Pope if she had the chance to sit down with him. Speaking to Andrew Denton on his interview show, the pop superstar, currently promoting her new album Madame X, said, “What do you really think he [Jesus] thought of women? And don’t you think Jesus would agree that a woman has the right to choose what to do with her body?”

She went on to speculate a meeting with the Pope might occur: “One day he might invite me. I think this one might … I think he would be open to having that conversation with me.”

Storm after Taylor Swift’s Calm

The Christian Post covers Taylor Swift’s new music video for her song “You Need to Calm Down” and its depiction of people who oppose same-sex marriage. The song promotes the LGBT movement and its video features a number of pop culture icons including RuPaul, Ellen DeGeneres, Laverne Cox and Katy Perry.

With lines such as “And control your urges to scream about all the people you hate, ‘cause shade never made anybody less gay,” the song also makes clear that those who oppose a LGBT lifestyle “would rather be in the Dark Ages”.

The video itself depicts a mob of angry people holding signs with slogans such as “Adam & Eve not Adam & Steve” and “Homasekuality is sin!” which might imply that those opposing LGBT lifestyles are not only bigoted but also uneducated.

After conduct code breach, Folau goes to preach

ABC News reports on Israel Folau’s Sunday service preaching and his latest comments on LGBT issues where he told a congregation in Kenthurst to “preach repentance unto people”. Currently facing a legal fight with Rugby Australia over his sacking, Folau is apparently not backing down on his stance that LGBT people would go to hell unless they repent their sins; he stated in the Sunday sermon, “This is no game … life here as a Christian is not a playground, there’s no mucking around, we are called as soldiers of Christ to go out there and to fight the good fight.”

While Rugby Australia terminated Folau’s contract over a breach to their Professional Players’ Code of Conduct, Folau has since launched legal action with the Fair Work Commission seeking “substantial remedies”.

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